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News Bulletin: February 2004

The Annual Village Meeting will take place at the Elizabeth Hall on Tuesday 27th April 2004. The main item will be the presentation of a scheme to build a new Elizabeth Hall. The current Hall was built fifty years ago at a time when building materials were hard to come by, because most available materials were still needed to replace homes that were destroyed in the 1939 to 1945 World War. Building standards were much lower than they are today and it is only because of superb effort by the Elizabeth Hall team over the years that the building is still in use today. The Hall now urgently needs replacing so the Parish Council and the Elizabeth Hall Committee have been working together on a scheme during the last year. Although much of the cost will be met by contributions from developers, a significant sum will need to be set aside annually out of the Parish Precept for the next few years. Do put the date in your diary and come to the Meeting!

By the time you read this work should have started on the new Police Station on the site of the old Police House on the A30. The scheme is not expected to be complete before July, but once the building is finished Hook will have a more visible Police presence as officers come and go from their new base.

We have now received the results of the traffic survey in the Four Acre Coppice and Pantile Drive areas which was set up because of concern by residents that it was being used as a “Rat Run” between the A30 and Griffin Way, and that the traffic volumes would become worse as result of the Holt Park development. Vehicles entering and leaving were individually logged by number plate at the entrances to Four Acre Coppice and Pantile Drive over a twelve hour period. 40 vehicles used the area as a through route, but 35 of these took more than fifteen minutes to make the journey, so clearly stopped for some purpose on the way through. 220 vehicles entered and left from the same direction from which they came in. 800 vehicles, clearly belonging to residents, either left and did not return or entered and did not leave again. The overall results of the survey show that although there is a substantial amount of traffic the vast bulk of the journeys are by residents and that just 5 cars could genuinely be described as “Rat Running”. A further survey will be carried out on completion of phase one of Holt Park and another when the entire development is complete.

Sadly there is no decline in the level of antisocial behaviour in Hook, accompanied by a significant amount of broken glass which the Parish has to clear regularly from Hartletts Park, Wellworth Park and the Play Areas. We are starting discussions with the Police about the feasibility of a local byelaw prohibiting the use of alcohol in these places, which would in turn give the Police new powers of enforcement. If the Police support the idea the order will be widely advertised before it is made.

We are in process of setting up the Parish Council Office which, initially at least, is in the former Football Club Room in the Community Centre in Ravenscroft. The telephone number is unchanged. It is our intention that, once we are established, it will be possible to view Planning Applications so avoiding the need to go to Hart, and to arrange appointments to discuss other issues.

Antony Hunter – Parish Councillor